10 Part Series: How to Increase Your Productivity as a Designer — Tip # 1: Organize Your Inbox
When we’re in the office, it’s easy to let the inbox overflow with e-mails from co-workers, bosses, clients, friends, family, and the like. If not kept in check, this can become one nasty problem, which could result in hurt feelings, lost opportunities, angry people, and general frustration all around. If you create no organization in your e-mail, this problem will just continue to get worse and amounts to one big headache for you. With these simple tips, you will know exactly what to keep, what to throw out, and where to put everything.
First off, how many e-mails are in your inbox? The answer should be zero, or maybe one or two that you haven’t organized yet. Why is this? Well, the inbox is only for messages that you have not reviewed yet. The second you see a new message, whether you have time to read it or not, it should go into a folder.
I suggest a folder entitled “to read” or similar for those messages that you haven’t gotten to. Anything that isn’t relevant should immediately be forwarded to the appropriate e-mail box or the trash can. However, you shouldn’t indiscriminately delete things that you think are done.
Occasionally, you may need to reference an old message for information. If you make a folder for each client or co-worker, the correct message can easily be found if it is located in it’s client folder. For example, if you have a client named Jane Doe, make a folder entitled “Jane Doe.” Any e-mail you receive from this client, after you are done with it, gets placed in the folder “Jane Doe” so it can be easily found in the future if necessary.
For e-mails that you have read and need to respond to or take further action on, a to-do folder should be made. For this to work, you have to remove messages as you respond to them, or you’ll be in the same boat as before.
More helpful tips for organizing your inbox can be found on the following links:
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